Let’s seize the moment

Exhaustion has completely taken me over. Not the physical kind but the type which is psycho emotional and caused by external stressors in one’s life.

No I am not taking tales out of the home, I am expressing a feeling which I am sure psychologists the world over are grappling with at a rate higher than normal.

A few months ago I would have blamed this all on Donald Trump, the United States president, but not anymore. He now has a merry band which includes Kim Jong Un, Aung San Suu Kyi and all the people the world over who focus too little on the welfare of human beings.

As a self-proclaimed news junkie I expect to feel exhausted when I follow the news too intensely. But for the last few months I have lessened the amount of time spent following news stories but my exhaustion from this source is greater than ever.

There is something in me which is pulled like a magnet to knowing what is happening across the globe. While I now limit my number of hours of news I still grapple with the ache I feel when images of Rohinga Muslims flash across my screen or when the victims of hurricanes or gun attacks are caught with that look of despondency.

A few years ago while living in Jakarta, Indonesia, I got introduced to meditation. Years later, I am still not great at it but manage every few days to give a few moments to this potent practice.

More and more during these sessions I found myself focussed on the sadness across the globe to the point where meditation itself became burdensome.

Nonetheless I kept fudging through and alas, a few days ago I had a breakthrough. My approach was all wrong.

My thoughts should not only be on the suffering and craziness across the world, I should also reflect on the possible good which could arise from this period in time. That lightbulb moment led me to thinking and hence inspired this article.

What better time than now for developing nations to focus on setting their own agenda than when the world’s superpower is distracted by:

  • potential war with a nation led by an unstable being;
  • dedicating a huge golden golf cup to hurricane victims; and
  • ensuring the dismantling of the legacy of the previous leader.

What better time than now when Brexit is occupying the minds of the largest political and economic union for developing nations to get a grip of their own role in their less than stellar performance?

 For generations, us people of colour have spent so much time blaming and recollecting what has happened to us by our colonisers. Do not get me wrong: we must never forget.

But, we need to change the channel in the same way that I must move away from the news reports which leave me in a state of psycho emotional exhaustion. What good am I to my family, friends or business if I am left distracted, saddened and angry?

How will our countries grow if we do not spend more time reflecting on what we can do to move ourselves forward versus what has been done to us?

Before I opened the doors to my real estate business I crafted a business plan. It acted and still serves as a roadmap, guiding me as I travel the journey to entrepreneurial success.

Managing a country is akin to managing a business, albeit on a bigger and more complex scale. How many developing countries have a ‘business plan’; that roadmap to guide leaders to achieve greatness for their people?

No time like the present for us to begin drafting ideas and managing the process from being led like puppets to taking charge of our own affairs.

I do not mind being exhausted if it means the world will be a better place for all people, no matter their colour, ethnic background or religion. But this psycho emotional exhaustion caused by the stupidity gripping the human race is not worth it.

Those of us who write, let us put pen to paper and publish ideas and theories; those who are in positions of power, use it wisely. Let us grasp this time in history to do what we must for ourselves.


The writer is the owner and managing director of Forrest Jackson Relocation Services in Kigali.

The views expressed in this article are of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The New Times.